When you are in the market for a refrigerator, there are many things you need to consider before making your purchase. You want to ensure you get the right size and features that fit your needs. Here are 25 tips to help you identify the best refrigerator for your home.

1) Storage Capacity

Storage capacity is usually measured in liters, but if you’re stocking up on huge items like 2-liter bottles of soda, check the dimensions carefully. Some manufacturers treat cubic feet as their standard.

2) Use (Refrigerator or Freezer)

If you typically store frozen food in your refrigerator section, ensure the freezer has a separate compartment rather than simply freezing everything that enters it through the fridge door. If you want to use your fridge as an extra freezer when needed, opt for a side-by-side model instead.

3) Energy Efficiency Rating

The more stars the appliance has under the Energy Star program, the less energy it uses. Look for both Energy Star and Energy Guide labels.

4) Type of Refrigerator Compartment

It’s best to look for a refrigerator with separate crisper drawers for produce and another drawer designed explicitly for meat. The door also needs to have a dairy compartment, so your milk, cheese, and other perishable items stay as close as possible to the freezer temperature without freezing solid. You may want to opt for shelves rather than bins in areas where you won’t need clear access to the contents.

5) Things That Will Fit  (Drawer or Door)  

If something doesn’t fit into traditional consumer refrigerators, it probably won’t fit into a counter-depth model either. Do yourself a favor and check out what you want to store before you waltz into the appliance aisle and expect every model to accommodate your giant pickle jar.

6) Freestanding or Built-In

Although freestanding appliances often have more giant footprints, many models look sharp up against a wall, taking up less space in your kitchen visually while adding functional countertop space to the other side. If you’re set on a built-in model but can’t find one with all of your requirements for size or color, there’s always custom installation.

7) Noise Level

Some may not consider this much of an issue during the day when everyone is out and about, but at night when everyone is asleep, and the refrigerator kicks on and sends out that loud hum over and over again, you’ll be the one left to deal with it. Check out reviews online to get an idea of how much noise a model makes.

8) Type of Compressor

Don’t worry too much about this unless you’re invested in having an environmentally friendly appliance that doesn’t pollute your kitchen (and the planet) with CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons). The only type of compressor that still uses these dangerous chemicals is a hermetic compressor. Models built before 1994 are most likely to have this type of unit so look for the recycle logo when comparing brands. All other models are considered “R404A” free, which means they don’t contribute to ozone depletion global warming.

9) Adjustability of Interior Shelves

Adjustability is always lovely, though it’s not crucial. Clearing out the fridge to make room for large items like turkeys may be a chore when you have to take everything out to reach all parts of the interior. In this instance, look for side-by-sides with adjustable shelves or even bins that can be removed from the freezer door and put wherever they fit best in your refrigerator. If you plan to switch frames around a lot, place a paper outline of each shelf where you want them to go so you don’t lose track during assembly!

10) Depth

Counter-depth refrigerators are shallow enough that they can sit flush against a wall, but their width takes up just as much space as an appliance that sits out in the middle of your kitchen floor. If you’re short on countertop space, look for a model with shelves inside the refrigerator door; this allows you to store large items like gallon jugs and bags of ice cream without taking up room for smaller containers or boxes of fruit.

11) Electronic Controls or Manual?  

Modern refrigerators may be controlled by electronic touchpads rather than knobs and buttons. If you prefer the simplicity of a manual unit because it doesn’t require electricity to run, you can still find one for your new kitchen fixture. These models also come equipped with programmable features so you can set temperatures before leaving home for work or sleep.

12) Price Tag

If there were ever an appliance where you get what you pay for, it would be with refrigerators–this is one area where cheap isn’t better. Look at Consumer Reports guides customer reviews online before making any big purchases.

13) Ice Maker or No Ice?

Ice makers tend to use more energy than models without built-in ice-producing capabilities, but they’re also great for keeping food cold with ice packs in outdoor coolers during warm weather barbecues. Don’t forget about how hard it is to go about your day without having any ice at all, so if you plan on making lots of cocktails before serving them to guests, this is an important feature to consider.

14) Transparency of the Freezer Door

Not every model comes with a see-through freezer door that lets you know at a glance what’s inside or how much space you have left for future frozen foods, but models with transparent doors do exist. But let’s face it: It can be pretty tricky to tell what’s inside without opening the door, which defeats the purpose! For this reason, many shoppers choose frosted plastic doors, so they don’t have to worry about adding more ice packs each week. If you want clear storage, get accessories like clear bins and boxes that’ll fit snugly into your new unit.

15) Dual Zone Options

If you’re looking to make room in your kitchen, a refrigerator with a built-in freezer that’s in a different location from the main compartment is a great option. The freezer can be tucked away in a higher cabinet or in another part of the house where it doesn’t take up any space. These aren’t always energy efficient, though, so read reviews about which models use less power than others before you commit to purchasing one.

16) The Door Alarm

Not everyone is as forgetful as you, but it’s never a bad idea to have an extra reminder for those times when the door to your refrigerator isn’t completely closed. If you think this would be helpful or entertaining, check out models with alarms that go off whenever the door remains open for over three minutes–you just might want to buy one and see how well it works! This also stops air from escaping and lasting longer than usual.

17) Filtration System

Water filters may take up too much space inside refrigerators, so look for units that can be installed outside of the team (in a pitcher), underneath, or attached externally through the tubing. This gives you more options for placement and allows you to place this appliance where it’s most convenient for you.

18) Ice or Water Dispenser?

If your new refrigerator has an ice dispenser, make sure there is enough room on the freezer door for this feature if you’d like to use it. If possible, try to find one with a water dispenser as well; these models are great because they don’t require any plumbing or installation and give you access to filtered ice-cold (or room-temperature) water instantly–plus, they’re available in multiple styles!   Just think about how much time both features will save before forgetting which appliances match specific criteria! Remember that some devices offer both options, but not everyone does, so if desired, write down how much space you have for each.

19) LED Lighting

If you’re looking to save money on your electric bill, look at appliances with energy star labels that indicate high efficiency. Models with LED lighting are typically more efficient than their counterparts, but make sure to check the product information before buying anything to prevent any mistakes or disappointments about the actual difference in price (or savings). LEDs (light-emitting diodes) will last longer and use less energy than other types of lights–which is great if you forget to turn off your kitchen light when it’s late or dark outside!   You’ll also save money over time by not having to change bulbs every once in a while.

20) Wine Rack/Can Rack

Putting up canned food can be difficult if there’s no room for this, so check to see which models have a feature that makes it easier for you. If you’re having trouble finding one with space, try going online and finding a model that fits your needs–or even a pre-made accessory that attaches to the inside of your refrigerator or freezer door! If not, look into some type of organizer for storing soda cans–it’ll make everything look neater and prevent those dents from appearing on top of drinks.

21) Stainless Steel Finish

Stainless steel helps kitchens stay clean and last longer by eliminating fingerprints and smudges on appliances. In addition, they hide dirt well, so it will be easy to keep your refrigerator looking fresh and new. These finishes are great if you’re allergic to nickel because this metal isn’t used in the process of production.

22) Energy Star

Trying to find a refrigerator that can help save money? Look for one that has an energy star label, meaning it’s designed with energy efficiency in mind. It will use less power than other fridges, so it’ll take less time to pay itself off–or save up for future upgrades!

23) Water Filter

Get a refrigerator with an external water filter, so you don’t have to worry about replacing the in-unit filters–they say these are replaced every six months or so, but some people replace them less frequently. This feature is excellent if you’re worried about the water supply in your city–or even your home. Make sure you find one that also offers a filter for ice to avoid getting sick.

24) Door Type

There are three types of doors on refrigerators: vertical, side-by-side, and top-bottom. Vertical units are great because they take up little space vertically while offering more room on the fridge’s inside. Top-bottom units are best for homes with lower ceilings–they typically allow more room on the freezer side than others because of their design. Side-by-side options usually have less available space in both compartments, but these are great if you want to save space and money.

25) Ice Dispenser Location

Some models have the opening for ice on the door, making it very easy to use and keeping your kitchen looking nice and neat. This is ideal because the ice machine won’t take up extra space inside of the fridge–and you can even buy an external container that attaches to it if desired! It’s also a good idea to consider how often you’ll use this feature, as well as any potential safety concerns with placing it in a particular area due to kids or curious pets.